o reach an annual production of 15,000 movements within the next seven years was the target set by Chopard for its Fleurier Ebauches manufacture. This facility, acquired by the company in 2007, had been completely restored and renovated to achieve that lofty goal. In 2012, it managed 5,000 units but by 2014, that number grew to 11,000 with a workforce of 40 people, positioning it nicely to hit the 15,000 mark within the following year. All 5,100sqm here are dedicated to machining, decoration, jewel fitting and assembly.
Fleurier Ebauches was designed and built according to strict ecological standards, earning it the Minergie label. Internal automated control with data from a weather station ensures a stable room temperature throughout the year, so there’s no need to use heating fuel. Two heat pumps, one to heat the building and the other to cool the machines, draw natural warmth from the basement.
Additionally, two pipes, one transporting hot water and the other, cold, snake through the radiating ceiling, avoiding the drafts that hinder work in a clean environment. Lastly, inventory is kept strictly under hygrometric control to protect against humidity.
Today the factory produces movements for Chopard’s three key lines: Superfast, Classic and Imperiale. It complements the Chopard manufacture which is in charge of high watchmaking and makes LUC calibres exclusively. www.chopard.com
The highly automated production lines and just-in-time organisation at Fleurier Ebauches are aimed at minimising inventory and maximising productivity. Facing page: the annex (on the left) is across the road from the existing A Lange & Sohne building and is connected via a footbridge.